How to Setup an Out of Office for your Twitter Account

Twitter, for many people, has become a preferred method of contact and marketing in recent years.  When you are on holiday with limited or no access to the Internet, you create an “out of office” reply in your email program to let people know that you won’t be able to respond to them straight away.

How about doing something similar for your contacts who are trying to get hold of you through your company Twitter account? You don’t want to miss that possible new sale or client do you!

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How to Setup Out of Office Replies in Twitter

Step A: Setup a Twitter App

  1. Go to dev.twitter.com and sign-in with your existing Twitter account. Create a new Twitter app (screenshot), add a description, website (any URL) and callback URL (https://spreadsheets.google.com/macros/).
  2. Once the Twitter app has been created, click the Settings tab and set Read and Write as the Application Type. Click Update to save your changes.
  3. Switch to the OAuth tool tab and make note of the Consumer Key and Consumer Secret.

Step B: Setup the Auto-responder Script

  1. Open script.google.com and choose File -> Make a copy to duplicate the auto-responder script into your Google Drive.
  2. Enter the start and end dates of your vacation, the Twitter app keys (from the previous step), and your Twitter handle.
  3. Go to Run -> Start to initialize the auto-responder. Say Yes if the script requires you to authorize access to certain Google Script services.
  4. Choose Run -> Start and it will show an “Authorization Required” dialog. Allow the script to access your Twitter account and you are done.

The script will invoke itself on the start date specified by you and will respond to all incoming tweets until the end date. It will then uninstall itself automatically. As always, you are free to use, modify and distribute the source code with attribution.

When you are taking another holiday, just open the auto-responder script already present in your Google Drive, change the Start and End dates and choose Run->Start to setup the autoresponder again.

 

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